The “Logic of POP” Follow-up


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 58, Vol. 2 2018

In a recent lecture by GBC-elected diksa guru HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami ("BKVS"), he claimed:

"It's a nice idea to have gurukula in the forest, and a guru lives with his disciples, just a few of them, but then Srila Prabhupada did say that he wanted all of his disciples should have 10,000 disciples."
(BVKS Lecture, 14/12/17)

A BTP reader who had been trained in the POP ("Prabhupada-Only Paradigm") system of understanding Srila Prabhupada's statements directly from Srila Prabhupada himself, asked BVKS for the source of his claim that Srila Prabhupada said "his disciples should have 10,000 disciples".

First BVKS claimed:

"this is quoted with a reference in "My Memories of Srila Prabhupada.""

However, the book he mentioned did not contain such a quote. After this was pointed out, BVKS then said:

"Srila Prabhupada said:
"You each be guru. As I have five thousand disciples or ten thousand, so you have ten thousand each. In this way, create branches and branches of the Caitanya tree."
From "ISKCON in the 1970s" by Satsvarupa Dasa Gosvami."

(BVKS, 11/3/18)

That is, this is not what Srila Prabhupada directly stated, but what Satsvarupa claims he "heard" Srila Prabhupada say. In the last BTP issue, we discussed the reliability of "personal testimony" over Srila Prabhupada's directly recorded statements in the article "The Logic of the POP". There it was pointed out that while with directly recorded statements from Srila Prabhupada we have 100% certainty, there is no way to know for certain whether a personal testimony is accurate. Thus, we cannot claim certain conclusions based on uncertain sources, as this would be illogical. Starkly illustrating why such personal testimony can indeed be uncertain and unreliable, is the following exchange from the directly recorded statements of Srila Prabhupada (POP):

Mahendra: "Eating maha-prasadam is also fasting."
Srila Prabhupada: "Who says?"
Mahendra: "You said that to Paramahamsa Swami once."
Srila Prabhupada: "And you heard from Paramahamsa."
Mahendra: "No, I was in the room. It was when he was trying to observe Caturmasya."
Srila Prabhupada: "I never said that".
(Morning walk, 7/6/76, emphases added)

Here, we have an example of a devotee who testifies to what he "heard" when he was directly in the room with Srila Prabhupada. And yet Srila Prabhupada explains that actually the devotee's "testimony" was faulty.

BVKS's statement, as well as testimony provided by others, shows how the guru hoax relies on such uncertain personal testimony, rather than only Srila Prabhupada's directly recorded statements, to make its case. But the exchange above between Srila Prabhupada and Mahendra proves that personal testimony is not always reliable. And thus, we can only rely on the directly recorded words of Srila Prabhupada.

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